"UK Bass" vs "UK Club"


#1

There’s been rumblings in the last year or so about “UK Club” music as this new sound coming out of the UK (https://djmag.com/longreads/uk-club-music-evolving-how) and I really struggle to see what the difference is between this and “UK Bass” with Night Slugs and the like. Night Slugs are even cited as an influence in that article.

I figured it was just a new name but then resident advisor have both as genre tags for reviews and are posting to my mind pretty interchangeable music to both at the same time. (https://www.residentadvisor.net/music/genre/club and https://www.residentadvisor.net/music/genre/bass)

Can anyone actually define what the difference is? Is it just a different generation?


#2

yeah i dunno, “Club” and “Bass” sort of sound like bullshit catch all terms to me, but likely have roots somewhere. To preface this, I’m a guy living on the West Coast of America so anyone UK rooted feel free to correct me, but here’s what i’d guess.

UK Club may be riffing off Balitimore and Jersey Club which came outta the 90s

UK Bass is probably riffing off the Post Dubstep Night Slugs stuff, which is also paying homage to Club sounds. To me theyre interchangeable but maybe they mean different things to the youf these days

anyway heres some more songs i dug up that i like :man_shrugging:t2:

when i hear the phrase UK Bass I think about 0:50 of this one, that sorta bass, which youll find lots in what i know as UK Funky or UK Garage

when I hear the phrase UK Club I think of this song, or at least this type of sound


#4

Both posts above are good accounts of it I think, and you’re all right that it’s fairly arbitrary. But these two are the crux of it for me:

UK Club may be riffing off Balitimore and Jersey Club which came outta the 90s

UK Bass is probably riffing off the Post Dubstep Night Slugs stuff, which is also paying homage to Club sounds. To me theyre interchangeable but maybe they mean different things to the youf these days

My reservation would be that I most associate Night Slugs with a lot of stuff that riffs on the US ‘club’ styles (ballroom, Jersey, Baltimore particularly) - this is like the Club Constructions era, post-Classical Curves. And I would guess that a lot of the influence on the new artists will be from this later Night Slugs era and those who were immediately influenced by them. But could be wrong here.

But some others would primarily associate Night Slugs more with the ‘bass’ sound which came out of the ‘post-dubstep’ melange and I think of as being more an earlier period for them. I’m thinking of the pre-Classical Curves Jam City EPs, early Mosca, the first Egyptrixx album and so on. But it’s all slightly more rooted in UK styles.

It’s a bit softer percussion wise, bass pressure coming more from sub lines than hard bassy percussion as in the later ‘club’ era. Lots of UK people and labels were doing this at the time (late 200s early 2010s) and subsequently, whereas this has been less the case with the club stuff until fairly recently. And ‘bass’ can also refer to a lot of more mainstream stuff in the UK - basically kind of house music with the kind of bassy sheen that has been popular here for a long time now. Whereas club probably refers more exclusively to less accessible stuff.

But I am slightly out of the loop tbh so could be wrong on all counts.


#5

These seem some good observations and I think mostly they are right. I haven’t been hearing of a UK Club but maybe that’s the most current grouping that has a lot LESS a Dubstep/Post-Dubstep origin like UK Bass the Nightslugs genre and UK Bass the post UK Garage grouping of genres.


#6

What I see listed IN that article for UK Club are a few more recent movement I’m aware of and a LOT I’m not:

"As a genre, club is both specific and vague. Club is not house or techno, though it might include elements of both. There might be breaks, but it’s not drum & bass. It’s intimately related to another vague non-genre, “bass”. The word club tries to capture the cross-pollination of previously hyperlocal sounds as they make their way across continents and back again, but in clumping those disparate sounds together, the cultural specificities that gave rise to each style can become blurred or forgotten.

Club isn’t a genre in itself, but if we try to imagine “UK club” as something distinct, it seems to be an outgrowth of soundsystem culture that looks sideways rather than forwards, listening out for shocking new sounds to splice into its vision."

  • TSVI finds himself looking to China, Morocco, and South Africa for inspiration: scenes like gqom in Durban, North African artists like Deena Abdelwahed and ZULI, Shanghai avant-club label SVBKVLT, and the scene orbiting Nyege Nyege Tapes in Kampala.
  • Sherelle is fusing jungle and footwork at 160BPM.
  • Bristol, experimental bass-techno continues to emanate from established post-dubstep outlets like Livity Sound and Tectonic. See our Bristol Bassy Techno.
  • Manchester is arguably the current hub of whatever “UK club”. The Swing Ting crew are pushing everything from modern dancehall to Brooklyn-bred FDM and new spins on garage and grime through their long-running party and label.
  • Scratcha DVA is putting a UK spin on South African gqom. UK Gqom sound slotted in perfectly with an ongoing reboot of UK funky, with labels like Nervous Horizon purposely exploring funky’s intricate, hard-hitting rhythms and splicing them with ballroom, techno, and gqom. Scratcha DVA has been carrying out a systematic investigation of gqom’s applications, crafting his own signature “UKgqom” tracks and, just this month, Drmtrk EP of stripped back blends of gqom and R&B. And alongside the recognisable building blocks of the South African sound (menacing bass drones, syncopated percussion) there’s been no ignoring the solid thwack of Middle Eastern drumming in recent UK club hits like TSVI’s ‘Whirl’ and DJ Plead’s ‘Baharat’, both on Nervous Horizon.
  • Tash LC, Mina and Hipsters Don’t Dance mixed soca, dancehall, and Afropop to perfection and Manchester’s Murlo booked Stylo G at his club night. Gloomy London duo Raime dropped a mixtape of their own dancehall versions. Orlando produced dreamy pop riddims with Jamaican MCs, and Mr. Mitch carved out his own “techno dancehall” sound over two mixes for Rinse.
  • Finn finds connections between Jersey club, ghettotech, and French filter house to create his signature brand of #fastmusic in the 130-140BPM range

Looking back on the evolution of this style, Finn, Sherelle, and TSVI all credit Night Slugs as a chief influence on the current wave of club music, both inside the UK and out. Artists like Bok Bok, Jam City, L-Vis 1990, and Atlanta-based Helix integrated sounds from both sides of the pond, combining the spartan aggression of grime with the jackhammer rhythms of Jersey and Baltimore.(Yeah this looks like a definite UK response to Jersey and Baltimore Club)…"

Finally a blurb about Deconstructed Club: “deconstructed club music, along with early grime instrumentals like Wiley’s drum-free “devil mixes”. TSVI also namechecks Night Slugs artist Egyptrixx and his 2011 album ‘Bible Eyes’ as a prototype for the deconstructed sound, “taking elements from various genres, but taking them out of context.”” and maybe a mention of Weightless Grime ?


#7

Ultimately it looks like SOME US Club inspirations but also a lot of music that becomes absorbed from Africa and other regions. It’s a melting pot and no longer just a UK Garage / Post-Dubstep world in the UK.